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Caldas da Rainha, Foz do Arelho and Obidos

This summer I enjoyed being on the Silver Coast and having an opportunity to know part of this beautiful area of the country. The sun was warm, the skies clear and the sea inviting. The Silver Coast, also known as the Costa da Prata, refers to the stretch of coastline above Lisbon and below Porto dotted with towns and stretches of beautiful beaches. The term … Continue reading Caldas da Rainha, Foz do Arelho and Obidos

A Class on the Architectural History of Portugal

I teach an introductory class in architecture for young students as well as adults. Recently, I was asked by someone who plans to move to Portugal to introduce her to the country through the eyes of an architect. Because of my interest in the history of Portugal and how it is reflected in architectural design, I was happy to provide her with a class. That … Continue reading A Class on the Architectural History of Portugal

Next Stop, Faro

There has been a long interval between posts but I was determined to finish a book by Christmas, which I did. Then I took a few weeks off to celebrate its completion along with the holiday season. I am back now with more stories as I continue on my adventures. My next stop during my visit to the Algarve is Faro, a coastal town with … Continue reading Next Stop, Faro

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Portimao is along the southern coast of Portugal with a strip of beach along a background of beautiful cliffs. It’s a quiet town relative to Lisbon and Porto but becomes extremely busy in the summer as a tourist destination and a point from where you can explore the Algarve. For that reason there is a long strip of commercial enterprise above the beaches made up … Continue reading Portimao

A Day in Alvor, Portugal

I have been remiss with my posts but I got busy finishing a book that I promised myself I would finish by years’ end and I accomplished that goal so now, for two weeks, I am taking a break and enjoying…writing. Now onto Alvor. Alvor, which is a short ride from Portimao, was the next stop on our tour through the Algarve. The history of … Continue reading A Day in Alvor, Portugal

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The Algarve, Part 1: Sagres

Overview of the Algarve This series on the Algarve is dedicated to my daughter for her love of archeology and history and to my grandson who loves pirates. My interest during this first exploration of the Algarve was the historical aspect and how it is reflected in the architecture of the area due to its influence by several cultures that have inhabited what is called … Continue reading The Algarve, Part 1: Sagres

Recommended Portuguese Owned Businesses

This post continues with Portuguese owned businesses and ideas on business opportunities in Portugal. Please note that no individual or company is paying me to offer these recommendations. What I write is based on my own experience with these businesses. First up this month is Manuel Tavares’ Cellar and Fine Grocery Shop founded in 1860 and just down the street from Confeitaria Nacional, a bakery … Continue reading Recommended Portuguese Owned Businesses

Mercado 31 de Janeiro, Lisbon

There are many mercados in Lisbon as there are throughout Portugal. Mercados are markets, either open-air or in large, spacious buildings, where farmers come to sell their produce. There are also fish stalls, cheese booths, usually at least one butcher, fresh catches of fish, an area that sells bread and there are always fresh flowers, herbs and small plants. And of course, there is always … Continue reading Mercado 31 de Janeiro, Lisbon

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Architectural Design: The Old and the New

There are the wonderful buildings in Portugal that go back one, two or more centuries and there is the new which reflects on what has been built before, providing glimpses into the past but designed and built today with an eye towards the future. We will start with the past and the Casa da Alentejo. Originally built in the 1600’s, the Alverca Palace was the … Continue reading Architectural Design: The Old and the New

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Spring in Lisbon: Grato

The above was created by a street artist who comes from Ireland and has been living in Lisbon for 1 1/2 years. He painted “grato” which means “thankful” or “grateful” in Portuguese and has a similar meaning in old Irish. When I spoke to him about the word, we understood what it meant for both of us. Two weeks ago I enjoyed my first trip … Continue reading Spring in Lisbon: Grato

April in Lisbon

April feels like life went from black and white to color, from somber chamber music to jazz. Portugal slowly and methodically began to open again, first outdoor seating at cafes and the opening of small shops then the larger stores opened and students return to school. What was a hauntingly quiet Avenida Liberdade once again came to life with cars, bikes, scooters, motorcycles and people, … Continue reading April in Lisbon

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Lisbon: A city with many stories

Every person I speak to in Lisbon has a fascinating story to tell. There is also the history of Portugal and its reach across continents and the buildings here, they speak volumes, whispering secrets of their past. Lockdown is once again upon us but I am able to walk daily, exploring and discovering something fascinating and/or beautiful around every corner. Walking the streets, though, brings … Continue reading Lisbon: A city with many stories

The Lights of Lisbon

Tis the season of delicious sweets, music and lights along with the hope of a better year to come. One good start for 2021, besides having a new President in the US, will be Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa filling the position on January 1st of the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The presidency of the Council of the European Union is … Continue reading The Lights of Lisbon

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Exploring Lisbon

A family having fun along the Arte Galeria where everyone is able to express their artistry and thoughts Because of the increase in COVID cases along with travel restrictions and curfew hours mandated in Portugal, I have not been traveling outside of the Lisbon municipality since mid-November. You can find out about the regulations put into place at the US Embassy in Portugal website. Fortunately, … Continue reading Exploring Lisbon

More on Lisbon

Since moving to Lisbon from Cascais, I have much to report but first, news about COVID. As of this writing, Portugal has returned to a State of Calamity which means restrictions on gatherings and travel. Public gatherings of more than five people are banned and there is an appeal by leadership for everyone to wear a mask on public streets, as is required in all buildings, and to … Continue reading More on Lisbon

First I was lost in Lisbon, now I live there

The Move While living in Cascais, which is a beautiful town, I have been looking for my own place for the last two months. After considering all possible locations in Portugal, I decided I wanted to have easy access to Lisbon. I love the city and from Lisbon I am able to take a train or a short flight to anywhere in the EU and … Continue reading First I was lost in Lisbon, now I live there

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Adventures in the ER, hamburgers in Portugal and a shop of prints

First, some good news about COVID in Portugal. As the graph indicates, due to the vigilance and care that has been taken by those in the government along with the people of Portugal who have followed the guidance and the rules at each stage, Portugal has seen a decline in cases of COVID. We have been warned, though, that Portugal will go into a State … Continue reading Adventures in the ER, hamburgers in Portugal and a shop of prints

A discovered artist, the necessities of life and a walk in the park

Readers are noticing that my posts have been few and far between but that is only because my explorations have been limited to the Lisbon District and no further. By now I was to visit Evora, Setubal, Comporta and Obidos but my plans have changed due to COVID. I am staying close to home and venture out only as necessary but I am still making … Continue reading A discovered artist, the necessities of life and a walk in the park

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Markets, beaches and restaurants during COVID

We are going through strange times in Portugal as well as everywhere else in this world now. In Portugal, we are experiencing stops and starts as we work our way into some form of “normality”. During this time, I limit my explorations but still want to get out and share what I see and experience. Last weekend I decided to explore the LX Factory in … Continue reading Markets, beaches and restaurants during COVID

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The week in Portugal as the lockdown eases

We are in the second week of the reopening of restaurants and shops along with beaches and parks and it feels like a breath of fresh air. The town of Cascais, where I live, is getting everyone who lives in the area tested for the anti-body. I’m trying to make an appointment but the phone line is continually busy. People are getting tested though. I … Continue reading The week in Portugal as the lockdown eases

We are coming out of isolation…and it feels good

It’s been a while since my last post but there wasn’t much to share except for my daily walks, but you only need to hear about that once. The town of Cascais slowly began to open about two weeks ago. Before that, it felt like a ghost town. It was a very sad sight but last weekend it began to come back to life. Not … Continue reading We are coming out of isolation…and it feels good

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The COVID19 Issue, Deux: Information and Stay at Home Activities

I’ve been going for long walks, now more than usual, and each day looking for a different path. This is what I came across this week. Spring in Cascais is not like it is in Seattle where there are showy displays of daffodils followed by tulips then the rhododendron, hydrangea, camellias and roses. It’s more subtle yet still a nice sight after a rainy winter. … Continue reading The COVID19 Issue, Deux: Information and Stay at Home Activities

Lost in Lisbon: The #COVID19 Edition: Information and Entertainment

A friend and I met at the beach in Cascais this morning and, while keeping our distance, walked along the shore, talked and shared our thoughts. After our walk, I went to the local grocery store and bought some goods. I then went home, washed the clothes I was wearing and took a shower. Those are the precautions I received to follow when going out … Continue reading Lost in Lisbon: The #COVID19 Edition: Information and Entertainment

Love in the time of the Coronavirus…and more

The title of this post has been on my mind for a while and I’m even thinking about writing a short novel based just on the title “Love in the time of COVID19”. In the comments, please share how it’s been for you. Are you isolated from your loved ones or partner? Are you together and working out ways to stay together during this time … Continue reading Love in the time of the Coronavirus…and more

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Odds and Ends: Sintra, Cascais and Lisbon

We are living in strange times with people becoming ill around the world from a virus that we are just learning about and fear taking hold of many whether it is warranted or not. I am living in a form of isolation myself simply because everyone else has chosen to do so although some of my friends are quarantined for valid reasons. That didn’t stop … Continue reading Odds and Ends: Sintra, Cascais and Lisbon

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Palácio de Monserrate

I had the great pleasure of visiting Sintra this week. It is a beautiful town where royalty and their guests vacationed in the summers. What has been left behind from those years of monarchs and kings are beautiful palaces and castles that are now maintained by the state and available for all to enjoy and appreciate. The palace was built by Sir Francis Cook, a … Continue reading Palácio de Monserrate

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Carnaval in Lisbon

In the US, we have Mardi Gras, at least in New Orleans, in Portugal there is Carnaval. The largest celebration is seen in the town of Torres Verdes where people join in with costumes, large masks, floats, music and general revelry. This year, many people believed it was time to have a carnaval parade in Lisbon, a city where such parades have been verboten. I … Continue reading Carnaval in Lisbon

My favorite five this week: On coffee and poets

Coffee, café as it is referred to in Portugal, is an integral part of daily life here.  You will find a spot to have a quick expresso at a mall, a sidewalk kiosk, a pastelaria, at a counter in a grocery store or in a café tucked in between shops on just about any street in Lisbon. The option is either for a quick café … Continue reading My favorite five this week: On coffee and poets


I write a lot in different capacities, as an architect, a teacher, a journalist and as an advocate for public education but this time it’s different. This site is more personal and about my adventures through Europe and my musings on whatever subjects come to mind. I moved to Portugal from the US in September and want to share my experiences for those who are … Continue reading Welcome